Behind the Scenes of Glam Garba

A special sneak peek into our exciting Glam Garba campaign with celebrated singers Raghav Sachar, Sonu Kakkar and Jankee. Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes snapshots from the Glam Garba shoot, featuring the hottest looks of the festive season from VR Surat shops Westside and Vero Moda, as well as from Anita Dongre and Zara, coming soon to VR Surat.

VR Surat Glam Garba Behind the Scenes Video

Visit our Facebook page to join us at VR Surat for Glam Garba, October 11th & 12th 2013. This Navras will be unforgettable!

Jalsa ni Jannat

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you are at VR Surat, keep your eyes and ears open for exciting news about the upcoming Navratri festivities. There’s a lot to look forward to at VR Surat

The Art of It
Make Me Rich

Make Me Rich

 

Majja Ni Life

Majja Ni Life

 

Ants

Ants

 

Jaman Jalso

Jaman Jalso

Public art and engagement with the community are key to the work that Virtuous Retail does, at VR Surat, and will do at its other flagship centres that open in Whitefield and Chennai over the next few years. We spoke with Sumi Gupta, Director, Virtuous Retail, about the ambitious Dumas Art Project at VR Surat and why it makes sense to have an art installation sit at the heart of a commercial centre

VRDiaries: Could you tell us about the genesis and launch of Dumas Art Project?

Sumi Gupta: When I first visited Surat in early December 2012, I saw that Virtuous Retail had designed and created a fabulous space, the likes of which I had not seen in India. It was beautifully landscaped, and very carefully thought-out, and I immediately felt that this could be a fabulous space in which to show art. Sadly, there is a paucity of museum space in India, which means that there is very little access to art. At Virtuous Retail, we want to change that. So the Dumas Art Project was started out to bring in some really great pieces of public art to VR Surat, so the wider community can come in and engage with it. We were very focused that the pieces of art would have a connection with the people of Surat.

Of course once we conceptualised it, there was the whole question of logistics, etc. Earlier this year, we brought in pieces like an Ambassador covered in coins, called ‘Make Me Rich’ by Hetal Shukla; an installation called ‘Meter Down = Mood Down’, by Pooja Arora, which plays on the rise of rickshaw and cab fares; and an interactive one with a magnifying glass called ‘Surat Dreams…. Art for Change’ by Parveen Kaur Ghatorora.

Essentially, these were everyday things that all of us can connect with.

VRD: Was there a particularly victorious moment during all of this that you’d like to share?

Sumi: Yes, and it was that we launched Dumas Art Project before a single store had opened at VR Surat. So basically, we had a shopping centre in which the stores were yet to open but filled with art, and we did not advertise or cover the city in hoardings but thousands of people came in to view the art works. It worked through word of mouth and social media and we had people coming in multiple times, photographing the works, and really interacting with art in a manner that I don’t think Surat had had a chance to before this.

VRD: So you are a great believer in the power of public art. How important is it for Virtuous Retail?

Sumi: Public art can not only enhance and transform a space but it can bring together communities, and fulfil a social and educational purpose. The quote by Picasso – “Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life” – is something I completely believe in. Art should not be exclusive – it needs to be available to everyone who wants to view it. At VR Surat, we have hundreds of thousands of people coming in and those kinds of numbers can never be achieved in a gallery, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone – for us at Virtuous Retail, the artist, and the local community – to engage with art.

For us at VR, too, art is a way to connect with the communities and the cities our centres are in. In VR Surat, for example, Jal Tapi is placed at the atrium so it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Now, in most commercial shopping spaces, the atrium is used to showcase a brand, or a product but we’re very clear that culture and community matter to us as much as commerce does.

VRD: How do you choose the artist to commission to, and what is the process of creating the work like?

Sumi: There’s a lot of thought that goes into all of it, of course. For example, let’s talk about Jal Tapi, which sits in the atrium of VR Surat. Virtuous Retail bought the winning boat of the historic Magdalla Boat Race from the fisherman who had made it himself, and won the race with it. Now, the race is a very important event in Surat, and I knew that the art work we made of it would have to reflect everything the city stands for. We chose Paresh Maity because he painted many watercolours and canvases with boats – but this is his first real boat! He is well known for the watercolours he paints in Venice which include the boats and his works are full of colour and life. I wanted the boat to be covered in motifs of what Surat represents – diamonds, the Hazira area, the railway, kite festival etc – and Paresh was very kind to absorb and bring my vision to life perfectly.

When Jal Tapi was completed, the fisherman who owned the boat came in to see it with people from his village and they were all so proud of it that it made the whole experience that much more special for us.

And then are the pieces by Arzan Khambhatta, with which we celebrate the spirit of Surat and Surtis. Majja Ni Life is an installation that is symbolic of Surtis’ love for getting out, shopping, and spending time with the family. It’s full of movement and dynamism. Jaman Jalso epitomises the tradition of picnics that Surat is famous for. Surti families really enjoy outdoor picnics, and there’s actually space beside the installation where people can spread their chattais out and have a meal. So, these pieces, too, tie back to the city and encourage people to continue their traditions in a new space that is entirely theirs to explore and own. And we chose to work with Arzan because he is an artist who does a lot of public art works, and again, he was able to immediately understand and translate what we wanted to communicate.

To sum up, I conceptualise the work and the philosophy of it. Then, choose an artist who has an affinity towards the concept. We work together at every step and it’s a very collaborative, wonderful process.

VRD: What are your hopes and plans for Dumas Art Project?

Sumi: It is now an annual event on our calendar and will take place in February 2014. I’m always looking for new artists to promote and work with. The key is that a work of art we choose to support needs to fit in with our vision, the centre, and the city. In the next edition of Dumas Art Project, I am hoping to have Surti artists on board, and offer their work a fabulous platform.

VRD: Your favourite pieces of public art?

Sumi: 1. The Love Sculpture in New York City

2. Henry Moore Sculptures in Yorkshire Sculpture Park

3. Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square in London


Watch Paresh Maity talk about the making of 
Jal Tapi

Applied Fashion

The summer’s done, and with the new season on its way, it’s time to embrace colours.

For men, the big trends are stripes, and coloured denims.

Choose a casual t-shirt from the range at Tommy Hilfiger.

Resized2

And pick your favourite colour from the range of denims in bright hues at Spykar.

Resized

Deep blues are the shade of the moment for women, and we love these dresses at Shoppers Stop

Resized3

Beauty Trend: Shimmer

I’m generally not a fan of shimmer and glitter but I have to admit that I do find myself falling for the way shimmer is being channeled this fall – on lips and nails.

The shimmers used are also not too shiny; the texture is more opaque and subdued. What makes them deep and sensual is the fact that they are worn on dark matte backgrounds.

Try berry lips with a hint of old-gold-toned dust – it’s charming, mysterious and beautiful. Try the same effect on nails but my advice would be to restrict the shimmer effect to only one nail – perhaps the ring finger.

My tip: Avoid silver shimmer as it lends a frosty, cold look.

The festive season is coming up, so you could also play with muted golds.

Jhelum Biswas Bose. Jhelum is a beauty commentator; follow her on Twitter  at @jhelumbb

Trending: Global Desi

Global Desi, which retails at VR Surat, showed at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013, and we shortlisted the three most iconic looks for you.

The first look, especially, is perfect to see you through a garba evening. Accessories with stacks of coloured bangles, and wear your hair up.

1185961_10151806539166870_1220774934_n

1184866_10151806540361870_1888706979_n

1234319_10151806538776870_1493501130_n

Runway Report

Innovative, and intelligent interpretations of classic trends were what impressed us at the recently-held Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013 in Mumbai.

Designers used traditional Indian fabrics, and experimented with cut, draping and silhouettes. What we liked most is that a lot of the trends are completely wearable off the ramp, too.

For the upcoming festive season, we’ve shortlisted three trends that you can make your own:

Image 17

An easy, elegant and very stylish reinvention of classic Indian silhouettes by Anita Dongre. You can wear this to work, with as much ease as you can to a party.

LFW-AW-2013-Payal-Singhal-1

A skirt worn over a pair of pants, with a very on-trend crop top, as seen at Payal Singhal. You can dress up this look, with chunky accessories, or colour-block your ensemble, by choosing a brightly-hued skirt, and top.

IMG_0690

Payal Singhal also sent out this very wearable look, pairing jodhpur pants, with a cropped jacket. All you need to complete the ensemble are some statement earrings.

On the Fast Track

1098300_574715499230914_74192626_n

1185572_574715559230908_1418349106_n

Surat can now get a much better taste of the good life, as BMW brought their newest car, the X1 to VR Surat some weeks ago; the X1 is a compact, luxury crossover SUV.

The Spirit of Independence

1094991_573201309382333_458166495_n

1185492_573201302715667_2064004630_n

1098461_573201299382334_761285186_n

VR Surat came alive on Independence Day, as over 350 people conducted a flash mob. It was Surat’s biggest yet, and the brightest moment for VR Surat

Art History

tumblr_inline_mr7fw5Unkd1qz4rgp
 

“It is a lovely opportunity to transform a boat in the piece of art for a public place in this unique installation called Jal Tapi.”
Paresh Maity, who created the installation using the boat that won the Annual Magdalla Boat Race in 2012

Jal Tapi sits at the heart of VR Surat

The Happiness Project

“Art in public spaces should be simple and playful. Both Majja Ni Life and Jaman Jalso are fun sculptures, with a sense of movement to them. They capture everyday family scenes, such as shopping and going on picnics, adding to the visual character of VR Surat.”

Arzan Khambhatta

The celebrated artist’s two sculptures reflect the infectious spirit of Surat, and brighten up the outdoor spaces at VR Surat. In this video, Arzan talks to Sumi Gupta, Director, Virtuous Retail about the creation of Majja Ni Life and Jaman Jalso, and the importance of art in public spaces.

Behind the Scenes of Glam Garba

A special sneak peek into our exciting Glam Garba campaign with celebrated singers Raghav Sachar, Sonu Kakkar and Jankee. Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes snapshots from the Glam Garba shoot, featuring the hottest looks of the festive season from VR Surat shops Westside and Vero Moda, as well as from Anita Dongre and Zara, coming soon to VR Surat.

VR Surat Glam Garba Behind the Scenes Video

Visit our Facebook page to join us at VR Surat for Glam Garba, October 11th & 12th 2013. This Navras will be unforgettable!

Jalsa ni Jannat

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you are at VR Surat, keep your eyes and ears open for exciting news about the upcoming Navratri festivities. There’s a lot to look forward to at VR Surat

The Art of It
Make Me Rich

Make Me Rich

 

Majja Ni Life

Majja Ni Life

 

Ants

Ants

 

Jaman Jalso

Jaman Jalso

Public art and engagement with the community are key to the work that Virtuous Retail does, at VR Surat, and will do at its other flagship centres that open in Whitefield and Chennai over the next few years. We spoke with Sumi Gupta, Director, Virtuous Retail, about the ambitious Dumas Art Project at VR Surat and why it makes sense to have an art installation sit at the heart of a commercial centre

VRDiaries: Could you tell us about the genesis and launch of Dumas Art Project?

Sumi Gupta: When I first visited Surat in early December 2012, I saw that Virtuous Retail had designed and created a fabulous space, the likes of which I had not seen in India. It was beautifully landscaped, and very carefully thought-out, and I immediately felt that this could be a fabulous space in which to show art. Sadly, there is a paucity of museum space in India, which means that there is very little access to art. At Virtuous Retail, we want to change that. So the Dumas Art Project was started out to bring in some really great pieces of public art to VR Surat, so the wider community can come in and engage with it. We were very focused that the pieces of art would have a connection with the people of Surat.

Of course once we conceptualised it, there was the whole question of logistics, etc. Earlier this year, we brought in pieces like an Ambassador covered in coins, called ‘Make Me Rich’ by Hetal Shukla; an installation called ‘Meter Down = Mood Down’, by Pooja Arora, which plays on the rise of rickshaw and cab fares; and an interactive one with a magnifying glass called ‘Surat Dreams…. Art for Change’ by Parveen Kaur Ghatorora.

Essentially, these were everyday things that all of us can connect with.

VRD: Was there a particularly victorious moment during all of this that you’d like to share?

Sumi: Yes, and it was that we launched Dumas Art Project before a single store had opened at VR Surat. So basically, we had a shopping centre in which the stores were yet to open but filled with art, and we did not advertise or cover the city in hoardings but thousands of people came in to view the art works. It worked through word of mouth and social media and we had people coming in multiple times, photographing the works, and really interacting with art in a manner that I don’t think Surat had had a chance to before this.

VRD: So you are a great believer in the power of public art. How important is it for Virtuous Retail?

Sumi: Public art can not only enhance and transform a space but it can bring together communities, and fulfil a social and educational purpose. The quote by Picasso – “Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life” – is something I completely believe in. Art should not be exclusive – it needs to be available to everyone who wants to view it. At VR Surat, we have hundreds of thousands of people coming in and those kinds of numbers can never be achieved in a gallery, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone – for us at Virtuous Retail, the artist, and the local community – to engage with art.

For us at VR, too, art is a way to connect with the communities and the cities our centres are in. In VR Surat, for example, Jal Tapi is placed at the atrium so it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Now, in most commercial shopping spaces, the atrium is used to showcase a brand, or a product but we’re very clear that culture and community matter to us as much as commerce does.

VRD: How do you choose the artist to commission to, and what is the process of creating the work like?

Sumi: There’s a lot of thought that goes into all of it, of course. For example, let’s talk about Jal Tapi, which sits in the atrium of VR Surat. Virtuous Retail bought the winning boat of the historic Magdalla Boat Race from the fisherman who had made it himself, and won the race with it. Now, the race is a very important event in Surat, and I knew that the art work we made of it would have to reflect everything the city stands for. We chose Paresh Maity because he painted many watercolours and canvases with boats – but this is his first real boat! He is well known for the watercolours he paints in Venice which include the boats and his works are full of colour and life. I wanted the boat to be covered in motifs of what Surat represents – diamonds, the Hazira area, the railway, kite festival etc – and Paresh was very kind to absorb and bring my vision to life perfectly.

When Jal Tapi was completed, the fisherman who owned the boat came in to see it with people from his village and they were all so proud of it that it made the whole experience that much more special for us.

And then are the pieces by Arzan Khambhatta, with which we celebrate the spirit of Surat and Surtis. Majja Ni Life is an installation that is symbolic of Surtis’ love for getting out, shopping, and spending time with the family. It’s full of movement and dynamism. Jaman Jalso epitomises the tradition of picnics that Surat is famous for. Surti families really enjoy outdoor picnics, and there’s actually space beside the installation where people can spread their chattais out and have a meal. So, these pieces, too, tie back to the city and encourage people to continue their traditions in a new space that is entirely theirs to explore and own. And we chose to work with Arzan because he is an artist who does a lot of public art works, and again, he was able to immediately understand and translate what we wanted to communicate.

To sum up, I conceptualise the work and the philosophy of it. Then, choose an artist who has an affinity towards the concept. We work together at every step and it’s a very collaborative, wonderful process.

VRD: What are your hopes and plans for Dumas Art Project?

Sumi: It is now an annual event on our calendar and will take place in February 2014. I’m always looking for new artists to promote and work with. The key is that a work of art we choose to support needs to fit in with our vision, the centre, and the city. In the next edition of Dumas Art Project, I am hoping to have Surti artists on board, and offer their work a fabulous platform.

VRD: Your favourite pieces of public art?

Sumi: 1. The Love Sculpture in New York City

2. Henry Moore Sculptures in Yorkshire Sculpture Park

3. Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square in London


Watch Paresh Maity talk about the making of 
Jal Tapi

Applied Fashion

The summer’s done, and with the new season on its way, it’s time to embrace colours.

For men, the big trends are stripes, and coloured denims.

Choose a casual t-shirt from the range at Tommy Hilfiger.

Resized2

And pick your favourite colour from the range of denims in bright hues at Spykar.

Resized

Deep blues are the shade of the moment for women, and we love these dresses at Shoppers Stop

Resized3

Beauty Trend: Shimmer

I’m generally not a fan of shimmer and glitter but I have to admit that I do find myself falling for the way shimmer is being channeled this fall – on lips and nails.

The shimmers used are also not too shiny; the texture is more opaque and subdued. What makes them deep and sensual is the fact that they are worn on dark matte backgrounds.

Try berry lips with a hint of old-gold-toned dust – it’s charming, mysterious and beautiful. Try the same effect on nails but my advice would be to restrict the shimmer effect to only one nail – perhaps the ring finger.

My tip: Avoid silver shimmer as it lends a frosty, cold look.

The festive season is coming up, so you could also play with muted golds.

Jhelum Biswas Bose. Jhelum is a beauty commentator; follow her on Twitter  at @jhelumbb

Trending: Global Desi

Global Desi, which retails at VR Surat, showed at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013, and we shortlisted the three most iconic looks for you.

The first look, especially, is perfect to see you through a garba evening. Accessories with stacks of coloured bangles, and wear your hair up.

1185961_10151806539166870_1220774934_n

1184866_10151806540361870_1888706979_n

1234319_10151806538776870_1493501130_n

Runway Report

Innovative, and intelligent interpretations of classic trends were what impressed us at the recently-held Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013 in Mumbai.

Designers used traditional Indian fabrics, and experimented with cut, draping and silhouettes. What we liked most is that a lot of the trends are completely wearable off the ramp, too.

For the upcoming festive season, we’ve shortlisted three trends that you can make your own:

Image 17

An easy, elegant and very stylish reinvention of classic Indian silhouettes by Anita Dongre. You can wear this to work, with as much ease as you can to a party.

LFW-AW-2013-Payal-Singhal-1

A skirt worn over a pair of pants, with a very on-trend crop top, as seen at Payal Singhal. You can dress up this look, with chunky accessories, or colour-block your ensemble, by choosing a brightly-hued skirt, and top.

IMG_0690

Payal Singhal also sent out this very wearable look, pairing jodhpur pants, with a cropped jacket. All you need to complete the ensemble are some statement earrings.

On the Fast Track

1098300_574715499230914_74192626_n

1185572_574715559230908_1418349106_n

Surat can now get a much better taste of the good life, as BMW brought their newest car, the X1 to VR Surat some weeks ago; the X1 is a compact, luxury crossover SUV.

The Spirit of Independence

1094991_573201309382333_458166495_n

1185492_573201302715667_2064004630_n

1098461_573201299382334_761285186_n

VR Surat came alive on Independence Day, as over 350 people conducted a flash mob. It was Surat’s biggest yet, and the brightest moment for VR Surat

Art History

tumblr_inline_mr7fw5Unkd1qz4rgp
 

“It is a lovely opportunity to transform a boat in the piece of art for a public place in this unique installation called Jal Tapi.”
Paresh Maity, who created the installation using the boat that won the Annual Magdalla Boat Race in 2012

Jal Tapi sits at the heart of VR Surat

The Happiness Project

“Art in public spaces should be simple and playful. Both Majja Ni Life and Jaman Jalso are fun sculptures, with a sense of movement to them. They capture everyday family scenes, such as shopping and going on picnics, adding to the visual character of VR Surat.”

Arzan Khambhatta

The celebrated artist’s two sculptures reflect the infectious spirit of Surat, and brighten up the outdoor spaces at VR Surat. In this video, Arzan talks to Sumi Gupta, Director, Virtuous Retail about the creation of Majja Ni Life and Jaman Jalso, and the importance of art in public spaces.